Monday, August 27, 2012


If you know us, you know how much we love to travel. While everyone else is working on back-to-school and fall ahead, my mind is already on planning winter vacations for us. Lots more to come on that.
For now, this makes me so happy. Couldn't agree more.

Lainey's birthday is coming up.  Our youngest will soon be 5. 
I miss the baby years.  So, so much.  But, I'm excited to start reaping the benefits of "older kids".  Everyone is potty trained, kids can dress themselves, less work to do on our part.  Who knows?  I might even give up my double stroller soon enough.
Not yet!  I only use it for Disneyland now.  We don't even travel with it.  Feels weird not clipping people's heals and running down old ladies in the airport. 
I still have my Ergo.  I put the Davidges' youngest in it as often as possible.  Blake says I can't use it with our kids anymore. 
Anyhoo.......with Lainey's birthday comes a big milestone. 
Ears pierced! 
We've waited until she asked for earrings......and she's asking now!  She wants them, "Just like Tessie Mayes has." 
Our neighbor, Miss Daryl, wants to take her.  It will be a big day for all of us! 
We're also planning a Halloween Birthday party.  I love having 2 fall birthdays.  I can swindle Lainey into a Halloween themed party now that Carter is too cool for such events.
That will postpone her party until October.  Before that, we will take a short trip up to Disneyland to visit the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.  Best birthday gift ever.
Finally, I have been in a major cooking slump lately.
Trying to pull myself out of it. 
Made Salisbury steak and potatoes last night.  The cheater version....where you mix stuffing into the meat and prepare with jar gravy.
It was good, though!  Don't think I've had Salisbury steak since school lunch in middle school.
Blake is a big fan of the school lunch.  If only I could figure out how to make that rectangle pizza he's so fond of.
Last night at dinner, we discussed earthquake readiness with the kids.

Most of my earthquake knowledge comes from the movie, Knocked Up.  From it, I knew to go outside.  Blake explained why.

Seems that we had a rare seismic swarm east of San Diego yesterday that caused many quakes.
Felt 2 small ones yesterday.  Nothing exciting, but it was our first since moving here nearly 2 years ago.  The bed started swaying back and forth.  At first I thought it was a ghost.  Need to turn off Ghost Adventures more often.  That Zak dude is starting to infiltrate my brain.
Off to work.  Later!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Scoop + Funny Searches Leading to this Blog

Pretty much the coolest thing about Kindergarten is having a Justin Beaver lunch box. 

And, mom giving up on the clothes war day 2.  She wore this size 18-24 month fur lined vest to school on Tuesday.

My single biggest challenge in life right now is dressing this child.  Blake flat out refuses to do it.  She insists on wearing everything that is "soft" and nothing that isn't.

Go for it.

And, knee socks.  She's obsessed with them.  Some of the neighborhood girls wear them and I think they're super cute.  So, she has plenty!

Mae Mae, look how perfectly they match the shirt you sent!

The boys' room is finally close to being done.  Still need to hang the valance and quilt, but for now, things are in place.

Hoping to sell his set this weekend.  

The boys love this set up.  Much more user friendly for video games.  

I love that they have some space to move around, too.

Had a funny conversation with the little ones today:

Lainey: Mom, I brought home my 2nd green pass!
Mom: That's great, Laine!
Jack: Yeah, dat is, Waine. Don't get da reds. Dose are totawy bad.
Mom: How do you know, Jack? You never brought home anything other than green.
Jack: Welw, I got 2 reds. And, some pinks.
Mom: WHAT? I never saw these.
Jack: Duh. I frew dem away.
I'm totally the dumb mom.

Finally, I've been paying closer attention to my blog traffic counter and have found some pretty funny searches that lead to the dorky Starnes family blog:

*Pretty beach girls - We're probably not what these guys are looking for.

*Brazilian beach girls - Even more disappointing, I'm sure.

*Johnny Knoxville tattoo - Huh?

*Panties he wore - WTH?

*Breast flasher - Seriously disappointed.

*Circus hippo formaldehyde - No idea.

Very entertaining.  Although, I have a feeling we're a major disappointment to many readers!

Almost through the first week of school. 

Back soon!

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Day - Kindergarten, 1st Grade & 6th Grade

Clothes were laid out after a big talk on the patio last night.

Who was nervous?

Who was excited?

Who would allow pictures on campus?

2/3 wasn't bad.

Jack and Lainey were up first.

Jack was agreeable, as always.

The walk in.

It was pretty exciting.

We checked out Kindergarten and then walked Jack to 1st grade.

He's a pro by now.  Not a lot of fan fair.

Back to Kindergarten to get Laine settled.

For the first time in Starnes history, one of our kids has a teacher that an older sibling had first.

I was that kid growing up.  I was always Chris's little sister.

And, to think I have 4 siblings younger than me who were Chris's, Casey's, Cody's, Caroline's, and Ceason's younger sibling!  Poor Colt.  Couldn't have been easy being the youngest of 6.

Lainey wasted no time getting settled.

Just as Jack did last year, we took measurements.

38 pounds and 42 inches tall.

We'll do it at the end of the year, too, to see how much they have grown.

Blake took Lainey Caroline out to learn the playground rules.

I stuck around to take pictures for the teacher of all the kids in two different poses.  This was one:

This was the other set of pics I took.

I ran to Walmart to develop them before I returned to pick up Lainey when her day was over.

I am a firm believer in sucking up volunteering at school to better my kids' reputation.

No, I'm kidding.  Kind of.  I really like this teacher.

With both littles in place, we scooted over to the middle school to see Carter off.

I managed to slink back into some alley of sorts to get a picture taken with him.

I WILL do this until he graduates college high school.

Somehow, I will do it.

All three kids had fantastic days and Lainey has already completed 2 homework assignments.

Cheers to a great 2012-2013 school year!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

More Random Scoop

 Seems to be all we're capable of right now........randomness!

Here is the view from my bed......where I've spent many of my days, trying to escape the heat.  I love our little house.

 At night, the lanterns come on and it's even lovelier.

We all know my kids are weirdos, but even this baffles me.  Lainey insists on putting Lamby and other stuffed animal favorites in the fridge or freezer.  She loves them cold.

This is not a heat wave thing.  This is a Lainey thing.

While Carter was with friends overnight, we took the little ones to the beach.

Our little toots are getting pretty good on the boogie boards.  

Next up, surfing!

I love the many faces of Laine.

 Look at her short hair!  It falls just below her shoulders.....and looks even shorter when I gel and curl it.  Super cute.

One of the best parts of having kids so close together is that they are the best of friends.  Arch enemies at times, too.  But, more often than not, friends.

Carter is back.  

The heat is still miserable.

School is starting soon.  Backpacks, supplies, new shoes and athletic clothes for Carter have been purchased.  Almost ready!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekend Scoop

The end of summer is here and I'm feeling the itch to work on some house projects.

The boys' room is in transition........bunkbed/loft system has been dismantled and we're waiting on their new set up.  Should be about a week.....until then, the boys are loving sleeping on mattresses on the ground.  It's actually the perfect time for this since the temps have been so high.  They're spread out, nice and cool!

I also started a photo collage in our kitchen.  We almost never eat in here.......hence, the table pushed against the wall.....instead, it's a family-center of sorts.....for homework, backpacks, dance clothes and all the little extras that land there during the day.

(That mom cleans off eventually, of course.)

I like the start....and we'll add to it.  It's a mix of canvas, framed pics and Subway art.

We have 3 backpacks hanging on chairs this year since we'll have 3 school age children.  Plan B was put into place recently, with Lainey starting Kindergarten this fall.  The state of California says she's old enough.  I say she's not.  So, we'll start her under the condition that I can hold her back and have her repeat Kindergarten next year. 

We certainly could change our minds during the year and have her proceed to 1st grade, but I'm doubtful at this point.  Regardless, she will start with her brothers soon enough and I'm still trying to process all of this.......but feel good about our choices.

And, speaking of Lainey......our jewelry party was a ton of fun last week.

Lainey was in charge of pictures.

As always, our friend's backyard was an amazing tropical paradise.  I can't believe all that she does back there.

And, our camera girl isn't the least bit shy when it comes to self-portraits. 

Lucky for her, there was some play jewelry, too.

Our Middle Schooler is registered and ready for 6th grade.  He got his schedule and it's a good one.  So fun to see all that is ahead for our oldest.  His school has amazing clubs and after-school activities, including a surf team!  Carter says he'll try out in 7th grade, after he works on football and other sports this year.  Plenty of time for everything.

Blake has expressly forbid me to bring cameras on campus, wear tights or knee high socks, or embarrass Carter in anyway now that he's in Middle School.

I concur.

Which means Jack and Lainey are next!

I've been a reading lunatic this year.  I think I have about 30 books already finished, which is usually what I achieve by the end of the year.  Not sure what has gotten into me.

Gone Girl is my latest.  By the same author of Sharp Objects, which I read a while ago.  Heard it's good...enjoying it so far.

LOVED this next one....given to me by my sweet friend, Jillian,...This is Where I Leave You.  About a dysfunctional family forced to sit shiva after their father's passing.  So many random, crazy things happen when these 4 siblings are stuck in one house together, obligated to talk and recall childhood memories and analyze how each other has turned out in their adult lives.  Highly recommend.

The Seamstress was also excellent.  Set in 1920's and 1930's Brazil, two sisters are separated during the revolution.  Each takes on a very different life from the other.  Fascinating.

Like the Fifty Shades of Grey series?  This is the next round,  it seems.  Bared to You.  I honestly could not believe the blatant similarities, and this one - pause for effect - is even more graphic.

Total crap.  But, yes, I will likely read the sequels. 

Just like movies, I have no standards with books.  I prefer a better grade of writing, but sometimes it's nice to just sit back with a no-brainer.

Any recommendations?  I am up for anything.

Back-to-School Night for the little ones this week. 

Lainey is a bit nervous, but will bring her Justin Beaver lunch bag for moral support, I'm sure.

Raisin' these kids right, peeps!

Oh, and finally.

Romney/Ryan 2012.  I like it.

Although, since we have a Mormon and a Catholic here, Allison and I got to thinking that we might just have a future in politics since we're of the same religions.

McNamara/Starnes 2016.

Of course, we'll have to do a ton of lying and hiding and denying due to my wild college years, but isn't that the very basis of politics, really? 

I think we're on to something.